Hi, my name is Clo and im new here so I thought I’d share my story.
When I was 8 years old I started getting sick, I was told initially it was the flu. When I didn’t start getting better my parents took me to the doctor about once a week. They did not check my blood sugar any of those times even though I had all the tell tale symptoms. Throwing up, dry skin that would crack and bleed, wetting the bed, sleeping all the time, excessive weight loss and drinking water excessively (I remember I would have dreams where I was just chugging water non stop!) We found out about my diabetes during a dance class I was in. One of the moms noticed my hands bleeding from dry skin and weight loss and asked my mom about other symptoms i had as her niece had just been diagnosed as type 1. We went over to her house after class and checked my blood sugar that was over 600. My mom immediately took me to the hospital where I was officially diagnosed. Everything went pretty much downhill from there. My parents relied on me to take care of my health and did not help much other than asking me what my blood was and asking if I dosed. As a kid who did not understand the gravity of my situation I would lie and tell them good numbers and that I did dose. The reality was that I would check my blood maybe once a week and only give insulin when I felt nauseous.
That situation went on throughout my whole adolescent. I only ended up in DKA once after diagnosis when I was 15. Every time I went to the endo my A1C was in the 12s, but nothing changed. Not a single doctor questioned my parents. I would always get told “You need to check and dose more” and that was it. I would get yelled at after every appointment for making my parents “look bad”. There were times that I didn’t give insulin for days. (partly due to my ignorance of my situation and partly to my severe depression)
When I was in my late teens my father was diagnosed with stage 4 Colon Cancer. With my parents being divorced and it only being me and my dad at home, I became his ultimate care taker. My life soon revolved around him and his health, I felt like I was failing my family by not keeping him alive. At this point I was 18 years old and had not seen an endo in almost 2 years, i would get my insulin from a primary doctor who never questioned why I didn’t get it from an endo. I was severely under weight, throwing up constantly, and felt like I had no support in anyway. I relied heavily on self medicating. I was not in a good spot mentally or physically.
After my dad passed away when I was 19, I moved out on my own. I was able to slowly distance myself from my family. I started to really understand the situation I was in and that I needed help. It took so much to reach out to someone. I truly felt like I had dug myself too deep into this hole of self destruction and that there was no way out. I was embarrassed. I felt like I had failed. The first 2 Endocrinologists I saw as an adult made me feel even worse. It was like they were speaking at me and not with me. I would try to explain my situation and I felt judged and pushed aside. This caused me to dig even deeper into my self destruction. I avoided doctors all together and continued to rely on self medicating.
Alittle over a year ago I decided I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. There had to be something more than what I was feeling. So I tried again. I got a new primary doctor and he has saved my life. This was the first doctor that ever made me feel like this wasn’t all my fault. He was sympathetic, understanding and wanting to help. He referred me to an Endocrinologist on his team who was exactly the same. I honestly never thought I would have anyone in my life that truly wanted me to be healthy. I was able to take diabetes education classes and found online support through Reddit and Instagram. I cut out people who enabled my bad habits. I actually put in effort to be better. It was truly insane how much hope I had for the future now. My life took a complete 180.
After a few months of seeing my primary doctor and endo monthly and getting my new dosages/prescriptions my A1C was in the 9s! I know thats not a good number but I had never been that low before. I had a completely new out look on life and I believed I could be better. With the encouragement of my new doctors I took the next steps and seeked help through psychiatrists, different therapists and multiple rehab programs. My A1C is currently at 7.2 and I have been sober for almost 7 months. It was a very slow moving process to get where I am today and I’ve had a few set backs. I do not know how I am alive today knowing how I had lived before. I truly am blessed to be here. I now fully believe that things can change and they can get better for anyone. Having a support system and cutting out the toxic people in my life changed everything.
But thats about it. There’s a long list of issues I am still working through and I still have a long way to go but I’m looking forward to being apart of this community and bettering myself even more! I hope everyone is staying safe during these crazy times were in God Bless you all.
(Side note sorry I edited this post so many times. Noticed typos and realized I put 8 months sober instead of 7. Don’t know if yall can even see i edited it but thought I’d explain just in case lol)